Lahti L-35 pistol

The Finnish Weapons Series

Lahti L-35 pistol



This is my second version of the 9 mm Lahti pistol, the fourth in my series of Finnish weapons. Changes from the initial version are some additional notes kindly provided by J. Okker. If anyone has additions or comments, please let me know.

Bibliography:

Palokangas, Markku: Military Small Arms in Finland. Second Volume - Finnish Weapons. Vammalan kirjapaino, Vammala 1991

Hogg, Ian A and Weeks, John: Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. Arms & Armour Press, London 1985

Smith, Joseph E. and Smith W.H.B.: Small Arms of the World. 8th edition. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 1966


Stats:

Sotilaspistooli L-35 Lahti
9 mm Parabellum
Finland

Length: 9.5 in (24 cm)
Sight radius: 8.1 in (20.6 cm)
Weight unloaded: 2.8 lbs (1.3 kg)
Barrel length: 4.7 in (12 cm)
Magazine: 8 box
Muzzle velocity 1150 fps (350 mps)
ROF: - rpm

Sotilaspistooli L-35 Lahti
 9 mm Parabellum
 Finland
 
 Length: 9.5 in (24 cm)
 Sight radius:  8.1 in (20.6 cm)
 Weight unloaded: 2.8 lbs (1.3 kg)

 RT:     4
 ROF:    * 

 Cap:    8 box
 AW:     0.4 lbs (0.18 kg)

 KD:     3
 SAB:    4

 Aim Time:           
                     
           1  -18 
           2  -11
           3  -10
           4   -9
           5   -8
           6   -7
           7   -6

 Ballistic Data:
             10   20   40   70  100   200   300   400
     FMJ PEN 2.0  1.8  1.7  1.4 1.2   0.7   0.5   0.3
          DC  3    3    2    2    1     1     1     1
    *JHP PEN 1.9  1.7  1.6  1.4 1.2   0.7   0.4   0.3
          DC  4    4    3    2    1     1     1     1
    * AP PEN 2.8  2.6  2.4  2.1 1.8   1.1   0.6   0.4
          DC  3    2    2    2    1     1     1     1

          BA 45   36   27   20   15     5     0    -3
         TOF  1    1    2    4    6    15    25    36

The 9 mm L-35 Lahti automatic pistol was another World War II Finnish weapon designed by Aimo Lahti. In appearance it was very similar to the German Luger but without the Luger's distinctive round bulges on the slide.

The design requirements called for a reliable, simple gun which was easy to unassemble yet could penetrate a steel helmet at the distance of 50 meters. In early Army use the pistol was found to be large and heavy but nevertheless otherwise easy and ergonomic to use. Apparently since the barrel is alloved to recoil backwards a short bit before the slide disengages from the lock one cannot fire the weapon if on has pressed the muzzle tight against the target.

Exceptionally well made and sealed against dirt, the gun proved remarkably reliable in sub-zero conditions. It was nearly impossible to unassemble without the services of a gunsmith, but no components were likely to break or wear.

First ordered in 1936, the L-35 pistol suffered from production delays and only about 100 examples were delivered before the beginning of World War II. The war greatly motivated those responsible for production and by February 1940, more than 1000 had been delivered. When the Continuation War began in 1941 2500 pistols had been produced. A further 3000 were made before production ended in December, 1945. In early 1950 the government factory decided to assemble a few hundred Lahti pistols from parts manufactured during wartime and made more than 2000 brand new guns, selling all on the civilian market. The line was again closed in the early Fifties, though spare parts continued to be made until 1979. in 1985 the factory made a special anniversary edition of 100 Lahti pistols. The total Finnish production was about 9000 examples.

Abroad, only a few Lahti pistols were sold at first. The Swedish Air Force obtained 50 guns in 1940 and Switzerland a few in 1943. 600 pistols were sold to Israel in 1951-1955 and some were subsequently used in combat. A slightly modified version of the gun was manufactured under license by Husqvarna in Sweden as the pistol m40. The Swedes went on to produce over 82 000 Lahti pistols, dwarfing the original manufacturer's efforts. The pistol m40 was in Swedish Army use until a few years ago when it was replaced by the pistol m88 / 88b (Glock 17/19).





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